TEAM SKY’S Chris Froome has become the first British overall winner of Spain’s La Vuelta cycle race – just six weeks after winning his fourth Tour de France.
In the final stage Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) dominated the sprint ahead of Lorrenzo Manzin (FDJ) and Soren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb) to claim his fourth stage win at La Vuelta 2017 with Frome finishing eleventh.
He was still comfortably ahead of second-placed Vincenzo Nibali (Team Bahrain – Merida) in the overall race classification.
General classification after stage 21:
1. Chris Froome (Team Sky)
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), +2’15”
3. Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin), +2’51”
4. Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb), +3’15”
5. Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), +3’18”
Frome is only the third rider to win the Tour de France and La Vuelta in the same year.
The 2017 Vuelta a España set off from Nimes in France three weeks ago and finished in front of the iconic Plaza Cibelein, Madrid, some 21 stages and 3,324.1 kilometres later.
The final, flat 117.6km stage from Arroyomolinos to Madrid took the peloton through the heart of Spain’s capital city to bring the 72nd edition of the Vuelta to a close.
Froome was always considered favourite by most commentators and bookmakers. He had previously finished second at the Vuelta on three occasions.
Top Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador, who won the penultimate stage, had already accounced he would retire from the sport after La Vuelta.
The 34-year-old won the Tour de France in 2007 and 2009, the Giro de Italia in 2008 and 2015 and the Vuelta de Espana in 2008, 2012 and 2014.
But he was sensationally stripped of the 2010 Tour de France title after testing positive and forced to serve a two-year doping ban. Contador claimed that contaminated meat was to blame for the traces of Clenbuterol that were found.